Labour and Greens lead on transparency

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, November 3rd, 2010 - 10 comments
Categories: accountability, greens, john key, labour, national, parliamentary spending, phil goff - Tags: ,

Last week I wrote about Speaker Lockwood Smith rolling back transparency on MPs expenses, by making travel spending secret again. John Key came out against the move — which looked like easy image grooming on his part, taking the popular position safe in the knowledge that the Speaker can do as he pleases.

Well, Labour and the Greens have called Key’s bluff:

Labour releases MPs’ expenses

Labour leader Phil Goff has released full details of his MPs’ expenses for July, August and September, ignoring Speaker Lockwood Smith’s decision to withhold the information.

The total is $741,568.

“I believe that MP expenses should be transparent and made public. I do not agree that some costs should be withheld. We all need to be accountable for the expenses we incur as we do our jobs as MPs,” said Mr Goff in a Labour press release.

Here’s Labour’s announcement, here’s the Greens. Here’s John Key dithering:

National leader John Key said Cabinet had yesterday unanimously agreed to do the same, making it likely National would follow suit. However, he wanted to discuss it with his caucus first.

National will need to do the same eventually of course, but once again Key is exposing the fact that he’s a follower, not a leader

Update: The Speaker has backed down, he has “released the full set of expenses because of confusion created by the decision of some parties to release their own expenses”. What “confusion” was that Lockwood?

10 comments on “Labour and Greens lead on transparency”

  1. outofbed 1

    Small point Greens first, Labour followed suit

    • frog 2.1

      To be fair to Labour, their expenses had already been released by the time I published that post at frogblog, but I didn’t realise it until later. The Green and Labour releases went out within minutes of each other.

      • r0b 2.1.1

        And to be honest – the Greens have been pushing this issue longer than Labour! But it is good to have Labour firmly on board now…

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Yeah, just so long as they’republishing without the need to be prompted who cares who did so first.

  2. Green Tea 3

    Where’s Goff’s commitment to turn this into a law? Or is he just trying to take the heat out of what is an unpopular move by Lockwood Smith all the while looking like a hero?

    Last time the Greens “released” this information it was a cynical move to try and downplay the significance of what the media were trying to find. We should never trust controlled information released by political parties.

    • outofbed 3.1

      Last time the Greens “released” this information it was a cynical move to try and downplay the significance of what the media were trying to find

      WTF?

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Goff releasing the details when he didn’t need to. Labour’s commitment to transparency is more than just following the letter of the law, it is about following through on your guiding principles. Well done Phil.

  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    National will need to do the same eventually of course, but once again Key is exposing the fact that he’s a follower, not a leader…

    Actually, he’s exposing that he and the rest of National all supported the Speakers ruling but didn’t think that they’d have to release the information anyway and so the bit about Jonkey disagreeing with the ruling was BS. If they’d actually disagreed with the ruling then they would have been the first to get their expenses out.

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